Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Waiting on Delivery, Car Update, Fire(s) Update, All Star Memories

MS myelin sheaths

The followers of this blog should know by now that Marcia has MS, Multiple Sclerosis, and has for over 40 years.  Back in the mid to late ‘70’s they treated her MS with adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), which had good results.  However, the damage was done…her left side (legs, arms) don’t function like her right ones do…they are weak, they are numbed, they tingle.  After her ACTH treatments she has treated her MS with a variety of vitamins, and Topamax to control the tingling of her left side (Topamax is generally used for seizures, but she has never had a seizure).  The image above shows what MS does…it attacks the myelin sheaths, causing the signals from the brain to run into problems, and the brain then tries to re-route the information.  On a MRI, the brain would show bright spots where the activity is trying to find other routes…her MRI’s show no more bright spots, which is good…the MS is fairly dormant now…but the damage is still there, and she continues on her vitamins (which, by-the-way, is NOT covered by any insurance since doctors won’t (can’t) prescribe it and insurance companies won’t pay for it).  WHY am I telling you all this???  Because we are waiting for a vitamin delivery…so instead of leaving today (Wednesday), it will by Thursday.  Lucky for us…it will only be 95 degrees today!

Serpintine Belt, Chevy HHR

Tuesday was “fix car day”, and fix it we (Arny) did. Serpentine Belt Tool To put the new belt on requires a special tool…shown to the right.  All we needed was the ‘long’ bar looking thing, but you actually ‘borrow’ the entire thing from O'Reilly Auto Parts by buying it, using it, returning it within 48 hours…they actually advertise the tools they do this with a counter top display.  However, and there is always a ‘however’, the long tool was too long, and we had to cut it down.  So I bought it, and donated it to Arny’s collection of tools.  The hardest part of the job was getting rid of all the grime that accumulated on the engine, cross bars, etc. from our Alaska trip last year.  So now I not only have a working engine…but a clean engine.  The entire project took about 4 1/2 hours, including trips to O'Reilly.  Total cost was around $70, $35 for the tool and $35 for the belt and intake hose…and I gave Arny $30 plus bought dinner…a measly price to pay for all that work.

Wall Fire, from Sacramento Bee     Wall Fire, from KCRA
Wall Fire, from Sacramento Bee

The “Wall Fire” up in Butte County is under control….they lost about 40 structures, but saved hundreds as the fire came up to a number of homes just south of Oroville.  The pictures above tell the story, including the now notable one of the firemen saving the American Flag from a structure which threatened.  The fire took out a lot of trees, but in some areas it just burned the grasses under the trees (probably due to the retardant dropped from airplanes), and ‘if’ there was a fire break around the house, it was typically saved.  The structures lost were lost due to no fire break, or the intensity of the heat which was taking out the trees nearby also.  Officially, the fire was just under 6,000 acres and is 60% contained…and unless a high wind comes up over the next few days, it will be 100% contained by the end of the weekend.

2017 All Star Game

The 88th Major League All Star Game was held last night…did not watch it, but the American League won 2-1.  Saw this on my blogger friend, Nancy Kissack’s blog this morning.  It reminded me of days gone by…the year was 1984.  My brother Bob, friend Brad (who managed the north area steakhouse while I managed the mid-town steakhouse), and friend Ted (who once worked for Brad but moved on to better things than cooking steaks) got together to attend the All Star Game in San Francisco at Candlestick Park.  If I recall, to purchase an All Star Ticket, you had to also purchase 25 season tickets.  So we bought 100 tickets for three different games, and got groups of people to attend the game with us, selling them tickets at a reduced price to lower our overall expenses. 

Bank Deposit Stuff

commemorative handout 1984 All Star GameThe picture above is my ‘stash box’ full of stuff that is in the bank safe deposit box.  The only thing not there anymore is the watch, which my son Michael was given when he got his Master’s Degree…that watch was my great-grand father Charles Burdick’s retirement watch when he retired from the railroad.  In the box you can see my business card, and under it is a ticket stub…which you can hardly make out…that is the all star ticket.  But on the lid of the box is a commemorative handout from the game.  Found a picture of one on the Internet (pictured right), and mine too is still in the original seal.  Saw one on ebay going for $35…another $15 and it will cover the cost of the all star ticket!  I also had or have, can’t remember, the program from the game.  I also took pictures of every single batter, including Daryl Strawberry, George Brett, Rod Carew, Reggie Jackson, Eddie Murray, Steve Garvey, Ozzie Smith (who did his flip), Dale Murphy, Cal Ripken, Dave Winfield, Ryne Sandberg, Tony Gwynn, and a host of other stars from that era.  The game set a nine-inning All-Star Game record for most strikeouts (21)--which would be broken in 1999.  It was a once in a lifetime event for me, glad I did it, wouldn’t do it again though…to many people!

Today is laundry day, dinner with mom and dad, and getting ready for take off tomorrow.  Can’t wait until we get to the cooler weather.


  1. As a season ticket holder, I went to every event at the 2007 All Star Game. I went early, stayed in the City and walked to everything. Made it much more fun, except for the part where I waited in line for 30 minutes to pay for shirts and stuff!!!

    1. I'll bet you had a good time too...I have not been to a game in the new stadium, although I was at the Marriott nearby for a library conference and saw a bit of the game from McCovy Cove windows...then I had to get back to the meetings.

  2. Glad to hear Marcia is doing as well as she is. You had told us about the vitamins which is wonderful, but are you saying that if she had taken them instead of the ACTH in the 70s that she wouldn't have had the damage?

    1. Marcia feels that the Vitamins she is on has kept her from having to take other drugs, and that the ACTH and Vitamin combination is what has led to her Doctor telling her that the MS is now in a dormant stage, and will probably stay that way for the rest of her life...although constant high stress could change that because stress makes the brain overly active, and that could be real bad.


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